May 262007

A bit of an odd mixture, but this all occurred to me when I was waiting 2 minutes at a pedestrian crossing for a chance to cross the road in 10 seconds; at which point I would have to do this all over again.

It occurred to me that most of the cars whizzing past my nose were being driven by people who didn’t pay the local council tax which funds the local roads whereas I do. Seemed a little unfair that they get more time to get across the crossing than I do, when it is my money paying for everything. Don’t get me wrong … whilst I might like the roads to be a bit cheaper, and we should spend more money on public transport, I still think the roads are worth having.

Of course it is not a simple matter where every pedestrian is a tax payer and every motorist is an outside who doesn’t pay the council tax. And motorists will say that their road tax is being used to pay for the roads … which is true for motorways (which I’m not commenting on here), but not the case for local roads.

I just think we need to redress the balance between the pedestrian and the motorist a little more.

Historically we have gone to an enormous amount of effort to keep traffic moving, and it is time to accept that it just isn’t possible with the levels of traffic we can have in today’s cities. And giving pedestrians a bit more priority on the roads is the polite thing to do given that we are helping pay for the roads. We need equal time to cross the roads that motorists have to cross the pedestrian crossings, and we need more pedestrian crossings.

If it takes a motorist 20 minutes to traverse my city rather than 15 minutes, so what? The motorist will still be well ahead of the pedestrian who will take an hour or more for the same journey so they will still be well ahead.

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